Giscard: Europe needs a people’s congress

By Daniela Vincenti-Mitchener

EU leaders are too focused on the short term of upcoming elections and lack a strategic vision to give new impetus to European integration and better connect with citizens, said Valéry Giscard d'Estaing. READ MORE

Kazakhstan’s Balancing Act

By Daniel Wagner and Luca Costa

Kazakhstan has become the most developed country in Central Asia over the past decade as a result of its rapid oil-driven growth and pragmatic foreign policy. President Nazarbayev has skilfully balanced the country’s diverse range of interests and maintained a sensible equilibrium between Kazakhstan’s two most significant international partners—Russia and the U.S.—whose interests compete in the region. While Russia has an historical and geographic comparative advantage, Kazakhstan’s relations with the U.S. are significant and growing. Nazarbayev has balanced relations between Russia and the U.S. by sending cheap oil to Russia and becoming an integral part of Washington’s War on Terror. READ MORE

The President of Lithuania met with the President of Kosovo

President of the Republic of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė had a meeting with the President of Kosovo, Atifete Jahjaga. The leader of Kosovo attended yesterday the high-level conference ‘Women Enhancing Democracy: Best Practices' initiated by the Lithuanian and Finnish heads of state. READ MORE

The Divided States of Europe

By Marko Papic

Europe continues to be engulfed by economic crisis.   The global focus returns to Athens on June 28 as Greek parliamentarians debate austerity measures imposed on them by eurozone partners. If the Greeks vote down these measures, Athens will not receive its second bailout, which could create an even worse crisis in Europe and the world. READ MORE

Dispatch: Greek Austerity Measures and the Wider Eurozone Threat

Analyst Marko Papic examines the upcoming parliamentary vote on Greek austerity measures and cautions that the real threat to the eurozone is likely to come from Italy and Spain. READ MORE

Austrians doubt widespread corruption claims

Many Austrian businesspeople are questioning investigations indicating that bribery is rampant in the country, a new survey shows. READ MORE

Europe Shall Not Allow New “Gas Wars”

By Oleg Gorbunov

Long-standing “gas” talks between Moscow and Kiev, another round of which shall be held in Ukrainian capital on June 29th is the most significant issue in the agenda of bilateral relations. Ukrainian Government faces a sad prospect – to cover multiple holes in the budget is only possible by reducing gas price, as neither Europe, nor the USA, IMF, World Bank wish to credit Ukraine ”just as  that“. Partners demand a real respond and progress at least in reduction of budget deficit. And this again is not possible without re-conclusion of gas contracts. As in January of 2012 the “blue fuel” price has chances to grow up to $400 or even $500 per thousand cubic meters. READ MORE

Turkey's Elections and Strained U.S. Relations

By George Friedman

Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) won Parliamentary elections June 12, which means it will remain in power for a third term. The popular vote, divided among a number of parties, made the AKP the most popular party by far, although nearly half of the electorate voted for other parties, mainly the opposition and largely secularist Republican People’s Party (CHP). More important, the AKP failed to win a super-majority, which would have given it the power to unilaterally alter Turkey’s constitution. This was one of the major issues in the election, with the AKP hoping for the super-majority and others trying to block it. The failure of the AKP to achieve the super-majority leaves the status quo largely intact. While the AKP remains the most powerful party in Turkey, able to form governments without coalition partners, it cannot rewrite the constitution without accommodating its rivals. READ MORE

Russia, Qatar Face Pressure to Scrap Gas Link to Oil Prices as Crude Jumps

By Ben Farey

Russia and Qatar are under growing pressure from Europe’s biggest utilities to scrap a 40-year-old system that links natural-gas prices to oil after Brent crude’s 23 percent surge this year. READ MORE

Ilves, Grybauskaite talk security

The presidents of Estonia and Lithuania met this weekend to discuss cyber and energy security. READ MORE